These five projects are molding Palm Beach Gardens

Updated March 21, 2016

Palm Beach Gardens’ identity is rooted in golf.

Look no further than the street signs: PGA Boulevard, Ryder Cup Boulevard and Avenue of the Champions.

About 200,000 people flock to PGA National for a week in February to watch world-class golfers compete in The Honda Classic. The largest, most luxurious communities — Ballen Isles, Eastpointe, Frenchman’s Reserve and Mirasol — are centered on golf. The public Sandhill Crane Golf Course boasts of stunning views of wildlife in the Loxahatchee Slough.

Although the city has its share of snowbirds, most residents live here full-time, and 63 percent are 45 or older, according to a resident survey this past year.

“When I drove here and got out of my car, the first place I went was PGA National,” Palm Beach Gardens councilwoman-elect Maria Marino said. “I came here to play golf, and then as a professional, ended up staying.”

The five next big things:

1. Avenir

The proposed 3,250-home community north of Northlake Boulevard and south of Beeline Highway will be the city’s most western development since PGA National and Mirasol.

Included in the plan is more than 2,000 acres dedicated to conservation and a nature preserve. Trails will connect to the Northeast Everglades Natural Area.

The developers have also pledged to dedicate up to 50 acres of land for as much as 500,000 square feet of commercial office space so they can partner with the city to attract corporate headquarters that would generate jobs.

2. Alton

Kolter Homes is building 30 single-family homes and 17 townhomes on the former Briger tract north of Hood Road, south of Donald Ross Road and east of I-95. Those are a fraction of the roughly 215 single-family homes and 143 townhomes the developer has approval to build.

Alton includes more than 136 acres of lakes, parks, preserves and open space, according to Kolter.

Florida Crystals is also starting construction on roughly 350 apartments known as Atlantico.

3. City Park expansion

A new, $3 million athletic complex at City Park named after outgoing Councilman Joe Russo is expected to be complete this fall. The complex at the end of 117th Court North will include much-needed multipurpose fields to accommodate sports such as soccer, lacrosse and football.

The park expansion also includes new sports courts and nature trails, plus a playground and pavilion.

The project is expected to be completed this fall.

4. Sandhill Crane Golf Clubhouse

A new, two-story clubhouse at the city golf course is in the works to capitalize on stunning views of the Loxahatchee Slough. The roughly $5 million clubhouse is expected to be complete next year.

5. United Technologies Center for Intelligent Buildings

The Fortune 500 company’s plan to build a 241,400-square-foot showcase is expected to protect 70 local jobs and create 380 new ones by 2020. The complex on the Alton tract, expected to be complete about this time next year, will demonstrate security, fire safety, air conditioning, elevator and refrigeration products for industry professionals.